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Ichiro Visits George Sisler’s Grave

Ichiro Suzuki visited the grave of George Sisler on Monday while in St. Louis for the All Star Game. He laid flowers on his grave of Sisler as he honored the player whose single season hits record he had broken in 2004.

Ichiro Suzuki visited the grave of George Sisler on Monday while in St. Louis for the All Star Game. He laid flowers on the grave of Sisler as he honored the player whose single season hits record he had broken in 2004 when he had 262 hits.

Ichiro Suzuki has always been one of my favorite players but he became an even more favorite player after visiting the grave of George Sisler in St. Louis on Monday.

Sisler’s family was present when Suzuki had broken Sisler’s single season record of 257 hits in 2004. The record had stood for 84 years. A lot of players today probably have no idea who Sisler was but Suzuki took time to honor him by laying flowers on his grave on Monday away from the All Star Game hoopla going on in St. Louis.

These are a couple of quotes from ESPN.com by Suzuki in regards to the Sisler family:

“I wanted to do that for a grand upperclassman of the baseball world,” Ichiro told MLB.com. “I think it’s only natural for someone to want to do that, to express my feelings in that way.”

“There’s not many chances to come to St. Louis,” Ichiro said, according to the Seattle Times. “In 2004, it was the first time I crossed paths with him, and his family generously came all the way to Seattle.”

Sisler played his last major league season at the age of 37 in 1930. He had 200 hits in six seasons. His .340 batting average is tenth best among players who played all their career after 1902. It was easier to hit .400 before 1903 because foul balls were not strikes until the 1903 season.

Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb hit .400 three times during their careers while Sisler was the only other player to hit .400 more than once when he hit .407 in 1920 and .420 in 1922.

Sisler also stole a lot of bases stealing 51 bases in 1922 and stole 375 bases during his career. He was not known for his power since he hit only 102 homers during his career but he played a third of his career before Babe Ruth made the home run popular.

Not only was Sisler a good hitter but compiled a 5-6 record and a 2.35 ERA as pitcher appearing in 24 games. His son Dave pitched seven years in the majors. Two of his five wins were in complete game wins over the Hall of Famer Walter Johnson.

When George was working for the Dodgers in 1950 his son Dick was playing for the Phillies. On the last day of the 1950 season Dick hit a three run homer defeating the Dodgers in the tenth inning to give the Phillies “Whiz Kids” the chance to play in the 1950 World Series.

The Dodgers would lose again in 1951 when Bobby Thomson would hit a home run that made the Dodgers lose in their last game for the second straight season except the 1951 loss came in a playoff  game with the Giants.

He finished his career with 2812 hits but only played 15 seasons and was not offered a contract in 1931 despite hitting .309 in his last season.

Ichiro Suzuki is hitting .332 lifetime only eight points lower than Sisler and needs only 72 hits to post 200 hits for his ninth straight season. He is 67 hits short of notching his 2000th hit at the age of 35.

He has been on the AL All Star team the first nine seasons of his career. He has won a Gold Glove in each of his last eight seasons. He has been first in hits in six of his eight AL seasons.

It is good to see a Japanese player pay respect to a player who was born in 1893 and died 36 years ago. Hopefully we will hear about American players respecting the players from the past the way Ichiro did on Monday.



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4 thoughts on “Ichiro Visits George Sisler’s Grave

  1. thedark2 on said:

    Good to see someone still has some class in this league. As you stated, I also have a new found respect for Ichiro.

  2. Ichiro showed a lot of class in visiting the grave of a player born in 1893. He probably is the only player that ever visited the Sisler grave.

  3. With my wife being Japanese, I have always had respect for Suzuki, but even more so now.

  4. When you combine Ichiro’s Japanese stats with his American stats he is probably the best hitter ever.

    He hit .253 and .188 his first two seasons in Japan and then hit .388 the next season. Since 1993 he has hit lower than .312 only twice and hit .353 in Japan lifetime with 1278 hits in Japan for a grand total of 3083 hits in Japan and America.

    He has won a Gold Glove in either Japan or America every year since 1993.

    More about Ichiro from Wikipedia.com

    Personal life
    The Japanese name “Ichiro” is often written 一郎, meaning “first son”. Ichiro’s name, however, is written with a different character, 一朗, so that his name roughly means “brightest, most cheerful”. He has an elder brother, Kazuyasu Suzuki, who is a fashion designer.

    Ichiro married Yumiko Fukushima, a former TV announcer, on December 3, 1999 at a small church in Santa Monica, California. The couple have no children. They have a pet dog (Shiba Inu) named “Ikkyu”, a combination of “Ichiro” and “Yumiko”. A kanji letter, “yumi” is pronounced “kyu” as well. The couple resides in the same neighborhood as Bill Gates in Medina.

    Ichiro is well-known for always wearing high stocking baseball pants and has worn these type for every game since the 2006 season.

    Ichiro’s walk-up music for the 2008 Major League Baseball season is “The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani along with “Lady Marmalade” performed by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim, and Mya.

    In January 2006, Ichiro played himself in Furuhata Ninzaburō, a Japanese Columbo-like TV drama that he loves. In the drama, he kills a person and is arrested.

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